Family, friends remember beloved cook killed in Phoenix hit-and-run

PHOENIX, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) – He was a father, a grandfather, and soon-to-be great grandfather, and last Saturday night Jesus Quintanilla was struck and killed riding his bike home from work. Police confirm the driver never stopped, and the search for that person continues.

For decades Quintanilla worked as a cook in local restaurants. Most recently, he served up food at the Hideaway Lounge. “He was the most giving person you ever met,” Kenneth Reiser, a longtime patron, said.

At Hideaway, Quintanilla wasn’t just an employee; he was a member of the family. “He would always bring food that he made at home for the bartenders to try, and anytime a customer would want something special for them, he would always figure out how to get it done,” Dianna Kubik, the owner of Hideaway said.

The neighborhood bar and restaurant have already started collecting money for Quintanilla’s family. Candles and flowers were also set up at the entryway. The 66-year-old was struck while in the crosswalk on his bike. He was right on the corner of 32nd Street at Thomas Road, close to Hideaway, when he was hit.

“I couldn’t stop crying because he was such a good person, and he will be missed by everybody,” Kubik said.

His granddaughter said they learned of his loss very early Sunday morning. “Know that he was loved; he shouldn’t have been left like that,” Sieanna Ortega, his granddaughter, said.

Ortega said Quintanilla was headed home at the time. He loved riding his bike; it’s how he got his exercise in. His family had a message for the driver. “We’re a forgiving family; we’re not mad at you, we understand you’re human, people make mistakes, we just want you to come forward so we can have justice,” Ortega said.

Police said the driver responsible was in a white, four-door sedan. The family has started a GoFundMe page for Quintanilla.

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